Free HR Law webinar – The New World of Work – May 27th 11 am EST

Williams HR Law is an HR and Employment Law firm that does great educational events for employers. The events are free of charge and cover topics affecting employers in these interesting times. Information on how to protect yourself and avoid pitfalls will provide you with info to make it through the New World at Work.  If you’re interested, please sign up at the link below.


Organizations have seen unprecedented upheaval over the last year resulting in workplace realities and conditions that differ vastly from those prior to early 2020. Many of these changes have become part of the ‘next normal’ that business leaders and HR professionals will have to contend with in the near and distant future. With this reality in mind, we are inviting you to join us for this year’s 10th Annual Proactive Workplace Law Webinar, where our focus will be on The New World of Work.

During this 2.5-hour, interactive session, the Williams HR Law lawyers will share their insights gained through assisting hundreds of organizations during the COVID-19 era to respond to workplace-related issues and risks. We will identify what the key conditions of the New World of Work are, and examine how these new conditions have impacted when we work, where we work, how we work, and why organizations need to proactively adopt the right policies, processes and communications to successfully stabilize and thrive in our new working environment.

The session content will provide practical takeaways for business leaders, management and HR professionals to navigate workplace obligations, entitlements, issues, risks and pitfalls related to:

  • o Pandemic fatigue and safety considerations
  • o Conduct issues, including those related to discrimination and harassment
  • o Mental health accommodation
  • o Imposing vaccination requirements
  • o Hours of work considerations
  • o New sick days and leave requirements
  • o Employment mobility
  • o Layoffs, terminations and notice entitlements
  • o Privacy
  • o Testing requirements
  • o Constructive dismissal and reprisal exposures
  • o And more…

This webinar will include a Q&A segment where attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions in advance and during the live sessions.

We look forward to you joining us on May 27th at 11am EST!

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/tenth-annual-williams-hr-proactive-workplace-webinar-tickets-153818309705

Ontario’s Paid Sick Leave Program

Ontario has just announced a new 3 day sick leave policy that requires no doctors notes. The employer will pay the employee and then be reimbursed by WSIB.

The majority of our clients have supported their staff (through pay) if sick, or needing to quarantine, so this may not be applicable to many. 

I’m not sure how this will work administratively, but will forward more details as we get them.

Ontario’s COVID-19 paid sick leave program to include 3 days for workers

Exclusive Client Benefit – FREE ACCESS to Canadian HR & COVID Toolkit

Dear Mainstay Clients,

We periodically like to remind our clients that Mainstay has entered into a program with ConnectsUs HR ™ to provide HR Resources.  We currently have about 1/3 of our clients signed up and using the the site. If you have not yet checked it out, please do so HERE

Your free access to the proven HR & COVID-19 toolkit lets you:

  • Stay on top of the pandemic as it relates to your workforce with the COVID-19 Portal, notifications about important announcements, resources & templates.
  • Gain continued access to pre-written templates and legislated updates, including jurisdiction-specific Employee Handbook updates for 5 provinces.
  • Explore the latest and greatest content that’s continually added, including the most popular HR kits with detailed instructions: 

The best part?  There’s no cost to you – we’ve picked up the tab and you won’t even have to provide a credit card. Just drop us a note and we’ll give you a code to access the resources for free.

Do you have employees in other provinces?

Yesterday CGIB hosted a webinar to educate advisors on the drug programs available in each province. We had members from almost every province share how their system worked for their residents. Each province varies widely, especially when it comes to high cost drugs. It pays to understand what programs may be available.

How does this pertain to you? With many people working remotely, we will likely see more employees working from further away and in fact, from across Canada. We have posted a page with links to each provinces programs if you or your staff need help accessing services or finding out more.

https://www.mainstayinsurance.ca/mainlinkimages/Provincial%20Webinar%20links.pdf

COVID-19 And Claiming Home Office Expenses For Employees

As employees prepare their taxes, you may get some questions on expenses for those working from home during COVID.  The attached article, and calculator from CRA, may provide some assistance to you and your staff if questions arise.


Home office expense calculator for employees

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-229-other-employment-expenses/work-space-home-expenses/calculate-expenses.html


April 30 is fast approaching, and employers are facing an unprecedented number of questions from employees regarding claiming home office expenses. With the transition to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are wondering if they are eligible to claim home office expenses on their 2020 income tax returns.

https://www.mondaq.com/canada/financing/1049650/covid-19-and-claiming-home-office-expenses-for-employees

COVID vaccinations for those 60-64

We’ve had a few clients reach out about public COVID vaccinations and how they might get them.  In Ontario there are a few areas that are being set up for a private vaccination pilot. If you’re between 60 and 64, the details are below.

If you’re in another province or area, check your local regional government site for details.


Starting March 10, 2021, select pharmacies in the following public health units are booking appointments for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people between the ages of 60 and 64 (at the day of vaccination or, if you will be or have been 60 to 64 in 2021):

  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
  • Toronto
  • Windsor-Essex County

You must have an appointment to get vaccinated at a participating pharmacy.

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

Employer Requirements for Mandatory Policies, Training and Postings

Employers with employees in Ontario often ask us to confirm legislative requirements under various employment statutes, including mandatory postings, training, and policies under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act.

To make this information conveniently available, the Littler Toronto team has assembled these requirements into a single publication.  An updated version of this publication can now be accessed through the link below.

These apply to ALL Ontario Employers.  Make sure you are compliant.

Ontario Mandatory Postings

 

Time to Review Your Termination Clause – Even if You’re Not in Ontario

Recent legal cases have made many employment agreements null and void. It may be time for you to update yours and if you don’t have them in place, implement them now.

In order to help with this process Mainstay Insurance makes ConnectsUs HR available to all our clients at no charge.  They have made changes to their employment agreements in consideration of the Waksdale case.  If you’re already signed up, log in and find out more here. If you’re a Mainstay clients and not currently signed up, give me a call and we’ll get you set up.

If you’re looking for more on the case, see below


At this point, we’re all likely familiar with the Waksdale v Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 (Waksdale) case, in which the Ontario Court of Appeal held that termination clauses in Ontario employment agreements are read as a whole.

On January 14, the Supreme Court of Canada denied an application to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision.

READ SUMMARY

EMPLOYERS UNABLE TO MANDATE COVID SHOT

I’ve seen several articles on an employers ability to dictate being vaccinated. I thought it might be useful to share this to help employers understand they may be required to accommodate employees that do not wish to be vaccinated. This can create a conflict with the requirement to maintain a safe workplace. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of the the issue and personally can’t wait til it’s my turn to get the shot and travel again (once safe of course).


FEBRUARY 25, 2021

EMPLOYERS UNABLE TO MANDATE COVID SHOT

Until provincial governments or their public health officers specifically direct that individuals are vaccinated against COVID-19, there is no specific legal authority to compel an employee or individual to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, says Richard Press, a partner at DLA Piper. “In other words, you cannot require one of your employees to take the vaccine,” he said at its ‘Vaccines in the Workplace: Rights and Limitations on Requiring Vaccination.’ Absent legislation, employers are unlikely to be able to mandate vaccinations without facing a risk of either human rights or civil claims. It bears mentioning, he said, that across Canada, the health authorities have indicated there is no intention to legislate that employees must be vaccinated. However, not getting vaccinated could have consequences impacting the ability to work in certain settings. For example, employees who travel on business may need to show they have been vaccinated if they want to fly. Employers across Canada have a duty to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that the workplace is safe and most employers will be able to do so without mandating employees get vaccinated, he said. This can be done by allowing employees to continue to work remotely or modifying hours of work so the employees can work in an environment where physical distancing can be maintained. There is also an obligation to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19 through adjusting health and safety plans, screening employees, requiring workers and visitors to wear appropriate PPEs. Vaccines should be considered as well, he said.

https://bpmmagazine.com/news/